Day 22 of full remote-instruction.

Dear Diary,

Earlier than normal, we left the house for the first doctor’s appointment available on the other side of State College. Although we were scheduled for a basic well visit and physical for my son, both children were getting their flu vaccination. Last year’s vaccinations were quite traumatizing for both children. It took my husband, myself, and the nurse to hold down both kids for the administration of this shot, as the kids each screamed and thrashed their bodies to avoid the quick prick of the needle. In preparation for this year, we tried monetary bribes to keep the kids from reacting in the same manner as last year. Luckily, Estella took the bribe making the shot seem like nothing at all, but it was a repeat experience for our son. A second nurse was called upon to hold down his legs, and I restrained the top half of his body, while the veteran nurse took mere seconds to administer the vaccination. 

For the remaining time I had of my morning off, I decided to wrap as many Christmas gifts as I could while the kids had returned to in-person. Lord knows I can’t stay awake late enough to do it after they fall asleep at night because I fall asleep right with them. As I wrapped gifts, I couldn’t help but wonder how Christmas might be like this year. Will we be able to spend the holiday with our small family if we are basically quarantined until then or will it be the first Christmas our children spend at home? As much as I have been dreaming of spending Christmas in my own home, watching the kids open presents under our tree, I would never have wished that a health crisis would be the reason that it would be a possibility.

My afternoon classes were for my youngest artists. After first grade, I received a message from a parent sharing very kind words about how great I am with this age group, along with the patience that I have with them. I wrote back and told her how much I appreciated that she shared what was on her heart because it truly made my day. A second parent thanked me for everything I am doing for the kids, too. Our daughters dance together, but since Thanksgiving, I have only Zoomed my children into their dance lessons, and I have not had the opportunity to see this artist in person because of my decision.

I firmly believe that our world needs more of that type of honesty, openness, and willingness to say what needs to be said. It can mean the world to someone to receive a sincere compliment.

With remote-learning, I have found that focusing on the Studio Habits of Mind is the way to go when planning lessons. Today our young ones focused on the SHoM, Envision, which means being able to picture artwork and next steps in artwork in one’s mind. We practiced this today following a story, and it was so much fun to watch the kids try to keep their eyes closed while I described some details for them to picture in their minds. It was even better to watch the excitement in their faces when they shared what they envisioned in their minds when they had the opportunity to use their imaginations. There is nothing quite like the creative mind of a young child. I am thankful that I have the chance to observe it on a daily basis.